Hatters' lucky 11 earn full-time scholarships for next season
UNDER-16 HEAD COACH JOE DEENEY writes...
It has been a really pleasing last few months in the under 15/16 phase at the club. We have successfully passed the EPPP Audit which was a tough process and it is pleasing that the EPPP have acknowledged the excellent work that has been going on at the football club.
The return of Dan Walder to the football club was instrumental in getting our EPPP status. Dan has done an excellent job as our Head of Youth Operations. It has been a tough few years having been out of the Football League and the Board and SOLYD have been fantastic with their continued huge financial support and belief in the youth department to continue the youth programme in the absence of Football League funding.
Over the last two weeks it has been that difficult time of the season when we have made our scholarship decisions in the Under-16 group. This season has been incredibly difficult for myself, Wayne Turner and Paul Driver as we have had a really talented group of 19 players to make decisions on. Unfortunately these decisions can often lead to talented young players leaving us. It has been a hugely emotional time for the players, all of which have been desperate to be given the opportunity to play for Luton Town. The group as a whole have been a real pleasure to work with and epitomise everything that brings success: ability, attitude, application, desire and an excellent work ethic and attitude to improve. Eight of the 11 signed scholars have come through our Academy from the foundation phase. This further highlights the excellent work at the younger years that has enabled us to have such a strong group at the 15s/16s phase.
Congratulations to the players, listed below, that have been rewarded their scholarship at the club and given the opportunity of a full-time contract. The challenge now will be can the players continue to show the same ability, attitude and application to break into and establish themselves as first team regulars in the forthcoming years. The potential of the players and the attitude and quality of the first team professionals they will encounter every day will hold them in good stead for the future.
Harry Bean. Defender from Biggleswade. Joined the club at 8 years old.
Akin Famewo. Defender from Beaston. Joined the club at 8 years old.
Cameron McJannet. Defender from Leighton Buzzard. Joined the club at 8 years old.
Joshua Brown. Midfielder from Haynes. Joined the club at 10 years old.
Kavan Cotter. Midfielder from Harrow. Joined the club at 12 years old.
Tyreeq Bakinson. Midfielder from Luton. Joined the club at 11 years old.
Jack Snelus. Midfielder from Milton Keynes. Joined the club at 8 years old.
George Murray. Midfielder from Ampthill. Joined the club at 8 years old.
Erin Amu. Forward from Luton. Joined the club at 12 years old.
Freddie Hinds. Forward from Potton. Joined the club at 8 years old.
James Verney. Forward from Tring. Joined the club at 14 years old and progressed from our pre-Academy group.
I would like to give a final mention and thanks to the Under-16 staff I have had working with me this season. Joe Oxley (Under-16 Assistant Coach), Callum Sharpin (Sports Scientist), Ryan Flarry (Sports Therapist), Simon Dunn (Analyst), and Lee Cowley (Lead Youth Development Phase coach). They have all played vital roles in the Under-16 phase that has seen us produce what hopefully will go on to be an excellent crop of young players ready to play in our first team.